Kazuya Ishigami – “Modest Worry”

What greets the listener with this release is a pounding high pitch frequency that, at first, grates – however, once you have sat down and committed to listening to this release the gradual ebbs and flows of the ‘pulse’ lead to a comforting ritual. Kazuya Ishigami is an artist who I have not heard before and the only text I could find for the release of “Modest Worry” stated:

It is complicated because I think it is complicated, in fact it is not so complicated. It is a very simple and happy thing.

Whilst this may not be the most pleasant of listens – It is quite unsettling – there is a minimalist beauty to the opening track of “Modest Worry” that leads a beguiling half-life. A bit like the artist, from what I gather – I had to really dig deep in to the search results to find out about Kazuya.

Kazuya Ishigami, is a composer, a sound designer, a sound performer and a sound engineer. Born in 1972 in Osaka, Japan, he was awarded a B.A. of Music Engineering from Osaka University Of Arts and a M.A. in Master of Urban Informatics from the prestigious Osaka City University. He learned electro-acoustic music composition at INA-GRM in 1997.

His pieces were performed at DR (DeutschlandRadio/Germany), WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk/Germany), CCMC (Japan), JSEM (Japan), FUTURA (France), MUSLAB (Mexico), SR (Radio Saarbruecken/Germany), HR (Hessischer Rundfunk/Germany), ISCM (Stuttgart/Germany), Spark (USA), NICOGRAPH (Japan), SILENCE (Italy), VII International FKL-Symposium (Italy),  ICMC (2015_USA/TEXAS) and so on. He has an independent label “NEUS-318” and “KYOU RECORDS”. He is  currently lecturer at Osaka University of Arts, Kyoto Seika University and Doshisha Women’s College.

Kazuya Ishigami

But what do I get from the release? The initial shock of the frequency has subsided. However, it still asks more questions than it answers – which is something I greatly admire in a musical work. There seem to such subtle variations of the drone that it seems like a hypnagogic reaction to the what I have been up to recently.

Work. That is what I have been up to. The grind of the nine to five has been weighing heavily on my shoulders. “Modest Worry” has catapulted me out of my week-day reluctance to break with the normal. It is almost like a sorbet to cleanse the palette – it has wiped away a week’s worth of detritus and purged my mind, calmed it – it is a weekend balm towards preparing for the coming weeks stresses.

In ‘Part 1’: there is such a depth of sound to these drones that it is formidable. They are complex drones – I appreciate this could prove an oxymoron – a ‘complex drone’ – but there is everything from tamed feedback loops to clicks and pops with, what sounds like a synthesiser bellowing out bass drone underneath – completing the formation of a complex drone.

Part 2: this is a welcome change to Part 1. Almost a doughnut after the 5km jog. Part 2 is a lot more computer orientated and is manageable – get sounds like it was built in the Dorian scale (correct me if I am wrong in the comments section below). Part 2 is like waves lapping on a cyber-ocean. There are frequent pulses and the pitch is altered, from Part 1, in to something a lot more ‘comfortable’.

Available on the artist’s Bandcamp page – I recommend this album. Within “Modest Worry” there are two long, complex drones that will cleanse your palette of per-fabricated music.

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